Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Beach

I'm in no rush to rise. Breakfast is until ten. Not much point in getting up before 9. or 9:15. Teeth brushed, kit on and I'm ready to go. Takes 10 minutes, tops. 

Despite there being plenty of noise coming from the hotel bar yesterday, I wasn't even vaguely tempted. Just too exhausted. Surprisingly sensible for me.

I don't recognise anyone in the breakfast room. Not that I had expected to. Everyone else arrives today. There are omelettes, scrambled eggs and some chopped up sausage things. That'll do. I make sure to eat a decent amount of fruit, too. I'll be needing all the vitamins I can get.

Logistics dictated that I arrive a day before things kick off. It's no bad thing. I have most of the day to laze about. What could I possibly do? Oh, there is that beach there. And according to Google Maps there are a couple of bars, too.


It's only 50 metres from the hotel. Very pleasant it is, too. Sunny, but not too hot. Plus a bit of a breeze. After walking up and down it for a bit, I'm getting this funny feeling in my throat. I know what it is, I'm thirsty. What could I drink to sate it? Maybe a beer would work.

I sit in the shade outside a pub and gaze towards he sea. I ask the waiter for a beer. "Which one?" he reels  off a few names I don't recognise, other than Skol and I don't fancy that. Original? That sounds good. I'll have one of them.

It comes, as is usual here, in a cooler jacket. The thing is all sealed up, preventing me from having a look at the label. Drinkable enough when chilled and consumed on a lovely beach.


As midday approaches, it gets busier at the pub. Many join me in a beer or two. You know what? Why don't I treat myself to a cachaca. Not had one since Andrew glugged down most of the ones I brought back from my last Brazil trip.

This is an excellent way of working off yesterday's stress. A couple of beers and cachacas in and I'm relaxed enough for a quick nap. I nip back to my room.

I wander back to the beach. Feeling a bit peckish, I grab a seat inside. The same beach-side bar. I order a beer and peruse the menu. This is taking me back. It's only in Portuguese. It's like when I first travelled to Germany, before I'd learnt the language. Often I had little idea what I was ordering.

I'm pretty sure that I order some sort of fish. With rice and some other stuff. I'm sure it will be fine.

The entertainment is around a corner and I can't see the musicians from where I sit. I did spot them on the way in. A singer with an acoustic guitar, accompanied by an electric bassist. Playing some sort of samba. It fits very well with the mood.

Mostly right, is how I'd judge my food guesses. Indeed there's fish and rice. Plus salad, chips and a mug of black beans Bit heavy on the carbs, maybe.


People have started singing along and dancing. It's two in the afternoon. And all rather fun. Some of the dancers must be at least as old as me. You'll not get me up there. It would be way too embarrassing.

I don't stay too long, despite grooving on down to the music. There's supposed to be a judges' orientation at four.

After loitering in my room a while I wander downstairs. Not a sign of any fucker. I wait another 40 minutes in my room. Still not a sign of anyone in the public areas. Maybe they're in the garden. 

Can't see anyone here, either. Oh look - there's Gordon (Strong) on the beach. With what I assume are some other judges. And they have beer.

We sip as the sun sets. Black Princess, which appears to be the main sponsor. Their branding is everywhere. A pretty nondescript Pils. The setting makes it so much better.

After the sun has gone, we trail inside to eat. And drink more beer. My evening is made when I discover there's a Black Princess Bock.  That's much more to my taste. More than acceptable. Especially if I'm not paying. 

It's nice to have a chance to chat with Gordon. He asks if I'll take a look at the new BJCP style guidelines. Sometime in the next few days. Sure.

Not leaving it too late, mind. The bus to the judging location leaves at 8:20 sharp. At least that's what the organisers claim. I'll need to be up just after 7, if I want time for breakfast. Which I do. It'll be a long day.

A little Bowmore gets the dreams rolling in more quickly.

 

Bar do Lua
R. Clorinda Ventimiglia,
180 - Cachoeira do Bom Jesus,
Florianópolis - SC,
88056-020.
https://bar-do-lua.negocio.site/

 

 

The organisers of the Brasil Beer Cup paid for my accommodation and food during the period of judging (four nights and three days) Beer, too, which was provided by one of the sponsors. I had to pay for my own cocktails. And all other expenses, such as flights and extra hotel nights.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Brazil again

"You're crazy." Is what Dolores told me when I mentioned visiting Brazil. 

Which is exactly what she told me before me last long trip. To Thailand in March 2020. "You're crazy." She said. But I got back OK. It was mostly fine.

Nonetheless, I was more anxious before flying. Did I have all the right pieces of fucking paper indicating I was fit to fly? Would the lounge be serving whisky? Stressful shit.

After more than 18 months, I'm out of pratice with the whole airport palaver. Especially all the walking. So much of it.


Not knowing what to expect, I turn up at Schiphol more than two hours before departure. Just to be on the safe side. And to make sure I've time for as few drinks before boarding. Even if it is only 9 AM.

I while away the 12 hours cooped up in a tin can wearing a mask by watching films. Anything light and not too vomit-inducing. I have some success. Even the bad ones eat away at the hours.

Almost four hours I have to connect in Sao Paolo. A couple of bad experiences have taught me to err on the side of caution for the sake of my heart. I'm not going to have to rush around an airport if I don't need to.

Immigration is quite a walk from the aircraft. And none of the moving walkways are working. Just what I need after half a day aching my arse off.

They aren't interested in seeing anything but my passport. A disappointment, after all the fucking around getting hold of all the documents had entailed.  (They were all thoroughly checked in Schiphol.)

It's all pretty quick. I leave terminal 3, with all my luggage 45 minutes after touching down. Still loads of time.

LATAM check in is a bit of a walk. It looks pretty chaotic. Which queue should I join.

I'm not sure I pick the right one. I think it's for people with special needs. Not sure I'm quite enough of an old bastard to qualify for that yet. Each customer is taking for ever. And only one agent is helping.

The general queue seems to be rattling along at a decent rate. With three or four agents working it. I switch to that, even though it's longer.

After a few minutes, I realise my new queue has stopped moving. There's just one agent left. Where the hell did all the others go? Either all the cases are really difficult, or he's dead slow. What the fuck is he doing now? Why has he gone to the self checkin machines? 

The blokes in front of me are getting very jumpy. I think their gates are getting ready to close. This is exactly why I left so much time between flights.

After complaining to a wandering member of the airline staff, the anxious blokes in front of me have be hurried off somewhere. Hopefully not to a firing squad. But my turn next. Looking back at my old queue, I see several people who were behind me have been served.

The couple being processed have a pile of bags. And two Yorkshire terriers. Fuck and double fuck. I saw earlier how long it took to check in just one dog.

A huge discussion ensues which seems to concern the type of bag being used to house the dogs. It takes forever.

Finally, I'm being done. Except the agent is struggling a bit withe the label printer.After some fiddling, he prints a bag label and attaches it weirdly. Then has a think and rips it off again. Another couple of labels are printed, looked at and discarded. A fourth is somewhat insecure looking manner and my bag dispatched to the bowels of the airport. I don't feel confident about seeing it again anytime soon.

That's taken me over 90 minutes. My legs are numb from all the standing. I suppose a long walk to the gate will at least get my blood moving.

Security painlessly passed, I search for directions to my gate. It's to the left. Second gate listed. Will I miss a long walk for once?

Will I hell. It may be one of the first gates. But it's a long trek just to get to the first. When I plonk my sorry arse down it's 15 minutes until boarding. I planned on a couple of hours watching stuff on my laptop. Out of principle, I open it up and fire up an episode of Al Murray's new TV thing.

About minutes worth is what I have time for. In the boarding group 6 and get on pretty late. Still room in the overhead for my rucksack, luckily.

It's fully and the seats are pretty close together. When the twat in the seat in front of me the moment the wheels leave the tarmac, there's my chance of using my laptop gone. I squint at Private Eye, instead.

No onboard service of any sort.Though we're only in the air 40-45 minutes. Just as well, given how much my arse is aching due to the restricted legroom.

Florianopolis airport is nice and compact. No long walks here. I wait anxiously at the luggage carousel. I'm not feeling very confident. Bags trickle out and are whisked away. But not mine. I'm not very confident it was labelled correctly.

The crowd is thinning out. How much of a disaster will it be if it doesn't turn up?All it contains are clothes. And my whisky. I can do without my clothes tonight but not that so much.

Just when I'm thinking about how much hassle it will be to get my bag if it's gone missing, it pops out. Thank fuck for that. I've been travelling for the best part of a day. Now I just need to find a taxi.

There's an office where you can buy a taxi voucher. It's closed. Not because it's late. Oh, no. Because they're working from home. You have to ring them up and get something sent to your phone. I do have a phone with me. Not sure how the fuck I'd use it.

Instead I walk to the rank. I point at the hotel address I have printed out and ask "How much" He doesn't speak any English but says what I take to mean 100 to 120 reals in Portuguese. About 20 euros. It is a long, way, right at the other end of the island.


The best part of an hour has passed when we trundle up to the hotel. It's been a long day and I'm relieved to get here.

Of course my fucking key card doesn't work. I get the bloke on the desk to reset it. Still doesn't work and I get a new one. That was extra fuss I could have done without.

I reckon it's 20 hours since I walked out of my house this morning. Was it this morning? Or yesterday? I'm too knacked to know for sure.

Time for a quick hotel whisky to knock me out. I picked up a bottle of  Bowmoer in Schiphol duty free. Now where's a glass?

There are none. I have to swig straight from the bottle like a savage.

I hope tomorrow is less stressful.

 

 

The organisers of the Brasil Beer Cup paid for my accommodation and food during the period of judging (four nights and three days) Beer, too, which was provided by one of the sponsors. I had to pay for my own cocktails. And all other expenses, such as flights and extra hotel nights.

Monday, 29 November 2021

London Semi-Stock Pale Ale 1880 - 1899

More pointless style descriptions from a book I probably won't finish for at least another couple of years. If ever.

Slightly weaker than full-strength PA is what I’m calling Semi-Stock Pale Ale. That was a real thing, being a weaker type aged for only 3 months rather than the 12 months of the stock version.  I’m not sure if that was really the case with these beers. It’s a convenient label rather than anything else.

Whatever you call it, this type of beer was the second-class type of Pale ale. Around 5º lower in gravity than the first-class type. As you would expect, the alcohol content is also lower, by about 0.5% ABV.

Even more scaled-down is the hopping. Down 13% in terms of per quarter (336 lbs) per quarter and 22% per barrel. It’s safe to assume that the bitterness levels would have been lower.  You’ll find this confirmed in the recipe section. For example, I calculated Barclays PA 75 IBU and XLK 56 IBU. 


London Semi-Stock Pale Ale 1880 - 1899
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1886 Barclay Perkins XLK 1053.0 1011.1 5.55 79.09% 10.08 2.21
1900 Barclay Perkins XLK 1053.5 1012.5 5.43 76.70% 10.00 2.16
1887 Fullers XK 1057.1 1016.1 5.42 71.84% 11.58 2.84
1897 Fullers XK 1054.8 1015.5 5.20 71.72% 13.39 3.27
1890 Whitbread 2PA 1054.6 1011.0 5.76 79.84% 10.79 2.78
1890 Whitbread 2PA 1055.4 1010.0 6.01 81.95% 11.69 2.99
1895 Whitbread 2PA 1052.9 1012.0 5.41 77.32% 11.94 2.82
  Average   1054.5 1012.6 5.54 76.92% 11.35 2.73
Sources:
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/593, ACC/2305/1/584.
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/055, LMA/4453/D/01/056, LMA/4453/D/01/061.



Sunday, 28 November 2021

The cost of malting

When looking at Heineken;'s brewing records from the 1930s and 1940s, I was struck by the quantity of darker malts that they used. In their dark beers, obviously.

Each contained three types: kleurmout, broeimout (a type of caramel malt) and caramelmout. And the base was possibly donkermout rather than pilsner malt. Unfortunately, that isn't totally clear in the records.

As with everything else, the cost of malting was strictly regulated during the war. The price varied considerably, depending on the type of malt. With the darkest types costing more than double pilsner malt. Which makes perfect sense, as the darker kilning would use more energy and hence cost more.

You can see the prices here.

The cost of malting per 100 kg of barley
type price (f)
lichtmout (pale malt) 3.79
donker mout (dark malt) 4.04
caramelmout (caramel malt) 7.90
kleurmout (colour malt) 9.16
Source:
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 23rd April 1942, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 51.


Saturday, 27 November 2021

Let's Brew - 1881 Whitbread FA

In 1865, Whitbread brewed up their first regular Pale Ale in Chiswell Street. It was followed in 1872 by a weaker version, wittily called “Family Ale”.

It was a deliberately lighter beer, intended for the domestic trade rather than pubs. That is, beer meant to be consumed at home with meals. Which is why it was one of Whitbread’s early bottled beers.

To modern eyes it might look like a Strong Bitter. A quick comparison with Whitbread’s Milds reveals that it was more like a 19th-century Session Ale. The high degree of attenuation achieved after primary fermentation indicates to me that this was a Running Beer, meant to be consumed no more than a couple of weeks after brewing.

Don’t expect any big surprises in the recipe. Whitbread’s Ales were all just base malt and sugar in the 1880s.

Fairly fresh English hops, from the 1880 and 1881 harvest graced the kettle. Who knows what the dry hops were, though I’m certain that they would have been present. Whitbread never did bother noting them in their brewing records.

1881 Whitbread FA
pale malt 9.25 lb 86.05%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.50 lb 13.95%
Fuggles 120 mins 3.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1051
FG 1007
ABV 5.82
Apparent attenuation 86.27%
IBU 84
SRM 6
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale



Friday, 26 November 2021

The Wehrmacht asks for more beer

In August 1942 the German authorities announced that an extra 25,000 hl of beer per year would be delivered to the Wehrmacht in Holland. I say "announced". Demanded was more like it. It's not as if Dutch brewers could refuse.

Dutch brewers wanted to provide as much beer for the general population as in 1939. Which was around 1.5 million hl. That might sound pretty reasonable. Until you take into account the fall in gravities since the German occupation. 

Also, the Germans often demanded "heavy" beer for their troops. Which basically meant Pils. Breweries were only allowed to have a certain percentage of their production in this category. Meaning the locals would have to put up mostly with the watery versions of Lagerbier. By late 1942, that type of beer was just 1.4% ABV. Kinderbier, as Dolores would call it.

Purely in volume terms, Germans consumed a third of all the beer brewed in Holland. Which is totally out of proportion compared to their numbers compared to the local civilian population.

Talking of the numbers of Germans, these figures give an insight into exactly what they were. Assuming that German military personnel were still getting a ration of 9 litres of beer per month, I calculate that there were around a quarter of a million of them.

Proposed beer distribution in Holland in late 1942
group (hl) no. Germans
civilian population 1,500,000  
Wehrmacht 225,000              208,333
Waffen SS 25,000                23,148
other Germans in uniform 25,000                23,148
military visits to pubs and other compulsory deliveries 475,000  
total 2,250,000             254,630
Source:
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 9th September 1942, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 42.


Thursday, 25 November 2021

Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA hopping rate across WW II

More WW II comparisons. This time looking at the hopping rates. Which gives a very different view from the gravity.

Despite being pretty much exactly the same strength, pre-war there was a big difference in the hopping of Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA. The rate of the latter being around 50% higher. But while the hopping was reduced at Whitbread, it was increased at Heineken.With the result that in the middle of the war the gap between the two narrowed to almost nothing.

Weirdest is the situation in early 1943, when Heineken suddenly started hopping far more heavily. Supply of hops doesn't seem to have been a problem for the Dutch during the war. With supplies from Germany being maintained. Unlike barley, there always seem to have been plenty of hops knocking around on the Continent.

Once the war was over, Heineken's hopping was a little bit higher than it had been in 1939. While Whitbread's was a little lower.

Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA hopping rate (lbs per quarter of malt) across WW II
  Dec 1939 Nov 1940 Jan 1941 Jul 1941 Sep 1941 Jun 1942 Jan 1943     Oct 1949
Heineken Pils 4.49 4.49 4.49 5.06 5.50 5.84 10.43     5.00
  Sep 1939 Nov 1940 Feb 1941 Jul 1941 Oct 1941 Jun 1942 Apr 1943 Feb 1944 Apr 1945 Oct 1949
Whitbread PA 7.33 7.14 6.54 5.62 5.62 6.03 6.03 6.13 6.03 6.36
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111, LMA/4453/D/01/112 and LMA/4453/D/01/117.
Heineken brewing records held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document numbers 834 - 1759, 834 - 1760 and 834 - 1761.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1881 Whitbread KKK

One step up from the standard Stock Ale, KK, was its big brother KKK. Though not as popular, it still merited its own single-gyle brews of 300 barrels or so. In 1881, the total quantity brewed was 6,743 barrels.  Not too bad for a beer of 9% ABV.

KKK was the second strongest beer in Whitbread’s portfolio, only surpassed – a little – by SSS, their top-level Stout.

Despite the absence of parti-gyling – at least at this point – the grist was the same as KK. 85% malt and 15% sugar. Note that the sugar percentage was higher than in Whitbread’s Mild Ales, where it was under 10%. Sugar may now be regarded as a cheap substitute for malt. Not so in the 19th century, where it was the more expensive beers which tended to contain more.

The many hops were split between “American” from the 1881 season and English from 1880 and 1881.

Before sale, KKK would have been aged for probably at least a year, giving Brettanomyces plenty of time to work its magic.

1881 Whitbread KKK
mild malt 15.75 lb 86.30%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.50 lb 13.70%
Cluster 105 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 105 mins 3.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1089
FG 1022
ABV 8.86
Apparent attenuation 75.28%
IBU 117
SRM 12
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale


 

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA across WW II

With all the information I now have for Heineken, I thought it might be interesting to compare and contrast what happened to beer in the UK and Holland during the war years.

But how can you make a fair comparison? Isn't it like comparing apples and armadillos? Well, not totally. Because when all the nastiness began.Heineken and Whitbread had beers which, despite being in different styles, were remarkably similar in strength: Heineken Pils and Whitbread Pale Ale. 

Comparing the two beers tells you a lot about the differing experiences of brewers and drinkers in the two countries.

In the first three years of the war. the OG of Whitbread PA fell fell around 10º. Or around 20%. A not inconsiderable fall. But after that it remained at the same level until war's end.

Across the channel, over the same period, the gravity of Heineken Pils fell almost 40%. With the ABV dropping below 3%.

It's interesting to see what happened when things were getting back to normal in 1949. Heineken Pils had bounced back to its pre-war strength. While Whitbread PA was weaker than it had been during the war.

The same occurred across Continental Europe, with beers returning to their old strengths. While in the UK, beers had been permanently weakened.

Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA OG across WW II
  Dec 1939 Nov 1940 Jan 1941 Jul 1941 Sep 1941 Jun 1942 Jan 1943     Oct 1949
Heineken Pils 1047.8 1039.2 1034.7 1032.9 1028.8 1029.2 1029.2     1049.9
  Sep 1939 Nov 1940 Feb 1941 Jul 1941 Oct 1941 Jun 1942 Apr 1943 Feb 1944 Apr 1945 Oct 1949
Whitbread PA 1048.2 1044.1 1042.9 1042.5 1042.5 1038.6 1038.5 1039.1 1039.4 1036.2
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111, LMA/4453/D/01/112 and LMA/4453/D/01/117.
Heineken brewing records held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document numbers 834 - 1759, 834 - 1760 and 834 - 1761.

Heineken Pils and Whitbread PA ABV across WW II
  Dec 1939 Nov 1940 Jan 1941 Jul 1941 Sep1941 Jun 1942 Jan 1943     Oct 1949
Heineken Pils 4.70 3.88 3.43 3.20 2.80 2.80 2.80     4.70
  Sep 1939 Nov 1940 Feb 1941 Jul 1941 Oct 1941 Jun 1942 Apr 1943 Feb 1944 Apr 1945 Oct 1949
Whitbread PA 4.79 4.05 3.69 4.10 4.10 3.72 3.84 3.78 3.89 3.40
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111, LMA/4453/D/01/112 and LMA/4453/D/01/117.
Heineken brewing records held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document numbers 834 - 1759, 834 - 1760 and 834 - 1761.



Monday, 22 November 2021

Rotterdam

When was I last in Rotterdam? It's so long I can't say with any certainty.

I think it was when I was still writing city guides for the NLM flight magazine.I regularly made research trips to the city looking for new places. When was that? 2004 or 2005. More than 15 years, at any rate. That's a frightening thought. But why would I visit Rotterdam? Other than maybe going to watch Sparta play.



I'm not counting a couple of times that I've changed trains there. At least they've improved the station. There used to be individual little roofs over the platforms. Not that much use on a windy day. Now a single roof spans all the platforms.

I took a train from Amsterdam Zuid, despite it entailing a change. I'd rather not go to Amsterdam Centraal, if I can avoid it. Plus changing trains is a piece of piss. All I needed to do was walk across the platform to my connecting train. No trouble at all and no delay. It's not something I'd be very keen to do on the UK, where the trains are far more chaotic.


I was off to meet Robbie from Glasgow. Who was catching a ferry to Harwich later in the evening.

Public transport is so well organised here. My journey by bus, train and metro was all done using a single card. It makes life so much easier.

Not getting out of town much nowadays, I was more interested in the countryside slipping past the window than usual. The trees have far fewer leaves out here. Most are just skeletal hands reaching for the sky.

Stopped in a station, I noticed a rather sinister sign on an office building:

"WE WON'T STOP UNTIL YOU'RE ALL CONNECTED"

Note the use of "we" and "you". Sounds like they're going to connect us up whether we want it or not.

The Rotterdam metro is more useful than Amsterdam's, Eve after the opening of the Nord-Zuid line. Big chunks of the city remain miles away from any line. In comparison, the Rotterdam system is far more coherent with lines running out of the city in all four points of the compass.

I headed for Delfshaven. The nice bit of Rotterdam. The only 17th-century bit left after the wartime bombing. It wasn't originally part of Rotterdam, but the harbour for neighbouring Delft, until engulfed by 19th-century sprawl.


The original plan was to meet in Oude Sluis at 13:00. Until Robbie discovered that it didn't open until 14:00. Instead, he suggested we kick off in brewpub Pelgrim, which is just around the corner. I'd no problem with that. It would be a chance to try some of their beers for the first time in ages.

As I was late, Robbie was already well into a beer when I rolled up.

Being a cold day, I plump for a Dubbelbock at a warming 8% ABV. It's really rather nice.Chewily drinkable, is how I'd describe. It's good to see Robbie. It's been a couple of years. Not quite as long as the last time I'd visited this city.

He filled me in on some of the research he's been doing into the origins of Schwarzbier. I'm glad someone is looking into it. There are some pretty dodgy stories knocking around.

Next, we both ordered a Vagabond, described as an Export Stout. It's also a warming 8% ABV.


Oude Sluis is probably my favourite Rotterdam pub. Built around 1900, it's arse hangs out over the water. While not huge, it's bigger than many Amsterdam cafés. A couple of massive relief images adorn its walls. Reminding be a bit of the corner bar in Zum Uerige.

The draught list only runs to 7 or 8 beers, but there are plenty of bottles, mostly Belgian. Including ones from an impressive 11 Trappist monasteries. There are so many of them brewing, nowadays.

They had La Trappe Bock on tap. Tasting rather similar to their Dubbel. Not that I'm complaining. I used to drink loads of La Trappe Dubbel in Café Belgique.

Robbie tried 0.0% La Trappe. The barman warns him:

"You know that's alcohol-free, don't you?"

Robbie's verdict "Not awful. Rather thin, like a Dark Mild." it's OK, but he won't be ordering another in hurry.

He has to get off around six. Handily, he can take a metro directly to the ferry terminal. We couldn't have stayed out that much later. It was the day the pubs started closing at 20:00.

I picked some additions to the sandwiches I brought with me: two bags of crisps and a can of Gulpener Gladiator. That kept me going.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Heineken Beers in WW II

A little break from all the pre-WW I Pale Ale stuff. Unfortunately, it just means a return to WW II Holland. 

Still, that's what this blog's all about. It started as a chronicle of my research. With a few detours into travel and family, that's what it's mostly remained. This is the material I'm currently working with. And it does tend to fill up the few empty spaces in my head (between all the craziness. I would tell you my dreams, except I fear you'd think less of me. Public transport features heavily. Especially missing and taking wrong versions of it.)

If you expected this to be material I was working on for my book "Blitzkrieg!", you'd be mistaken. I've processed the hell out of Heineken's records for that. This is for another project. The YouTube series I'm doing with Peter Symons, Currently looking at Heineken in ridiculous detail.

We've already discussed their interwar beers. Next will be the post-war period. With a quick mention of the disaster that was WW II. Which is where these tables come in. Documenting the descent into piss of their beers.

Enjoy.

Heineken Beers in WW II gravity
  Dec 1939 Nov 1940 Jan 1941 Jul 1941 Sep1941 Jun 1942 Jan 1943
Style OG Plato OG Plato OG Plato OG Plato OG Plato OG Plato OG Plato
Licht Lagerbier 8.96 7.38 6.20 6.44 5.30 3.80 3.80
Donker Lagerbier 8.91 7.38 6.20 6.44 5.30 3.80 3.80
Pils 11.91 9.85 8.74 8.30 7.30 7.40 7.40
Münchener 12.59 7.37 9.84 8.46 7.30 7.40 3.80
Bok 17.14 17.20          
Sources:
Heineken brewing records held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document numbers 834 - 1759 and 834 - 1760.

 

Heineken Beers in WW II ABV
  Dec 1939 Nov 1940 Jan 1941 Jul 1941 Sep1941 Jun 1942 Jan 1943
Style ABV ABV ABV ABV ABV ABV ABV
Licht Lagerbier 3.50 2.88 2.40 2.40 2.00 1.40 1.40
Donker Lagerbier 3.50 2.88 2.40 2.40 2.00 1.40 1.40
Pils 4.70 3.88 3.43 3.20 2.80 2.80 2.80
Münchener 5.00 2.88 3.89 3.20 2.80 2.80 1.40
Bok 7.00 7.00          
Sources:
Heineken brewing records held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document numbers 834 - 1759 and 834 - 1760.

Only very small quantities of the nearly-intoxicating Pils were brewed. Mostly snaffled by the Wehrmacht.



Saturday, 20 November 2021

Let's Brew - 1881 Whitbread KK

When London Porter brewers started to dip their toes into the Ale market in the 1830s, they didn’t just brew Mild Ales. They also brewed the keeping versions: Stock Ales. Beers which, in London, came to be known as Burton Ales.

KK was the weakest of such beers, despite weighing in at over 7% ABV. Originally, it was the Stock double of XX Mild Ale. By the 1880s XX was pretty much, while the Stock version soldiered on. I won’t way thrived, as the quantities were modest. Whitbread knocked out 11,663 barrels of KK in 1881 compared with 148,350 barrels of X Ale.

In essence, KK greatly resembles XL, except in one aspect: the hopping. Which was roughly double at 14 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt, compared with 7.5 lbs. The grist and OG were much the same.

The hopping was rather more complex, encompassing two types of foreign hops, American and Bavarian, both from the 1881 harvest. Bulked up with English hops from 1880 and 1881.


1881 Whitbread KK
mild malt 13.00 lb 85.25%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.25 lb 14.75%
Cluster 105 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 105 mins 2.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 3.00 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1075
FG 1018
ABV 7.54
Apparent attenuation 76.00%
IBU 95
SRM 12
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale